Playground Politics, or why name-calling isn’t a valid argument
The gas industry resorted to pointing fingers and invoking bogeymen yesterday, claiming that the environmentalists are guilty of manufacturing falsehoods and half-truths about drilling for resources. ExxonMobil’s CEO blamed the press for producing scare stories without checking their facts, and he blamed the advocacy groups for bringing these scary stories to them. Most of all, he blamed the public and implied that we are a nation of illiterates because we listen to these scary stories about contaminated wells and poisoned cattle and un-mortgageable properties.
Now, there is something that everyone should know about arguments from childhood: only resort to name-calling if you are wrong and you know it, or if you want to hurt someone because you are angry.
Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s CEO, seems to be both really angry and really really wrong, and he isn’t alone in the name-calling. Chesapeake Oil’s CEO, Aubrey McClendon, joined in to claim that the reason there are people against fracking in West Virginia is because of the low literacy levels in that area. It seems that industry CEOs, when there is public outcry about dangerous industrial processes, resort to calling the people who are against the industry stupid.
Keep in mind: This is an industry that has given the public a lot of reason to not trust their ability to protect our natural resources from the fallout of their accidents. Now they are getting angry at us for not believing them when they say that everything is alright, and that there is nothing to worry about. They take no responsibility for their actions, and leave us drowning in the wake of their accidents.
The gas drilling industry doesn’t seem to understand that when you are gambling with our drinking water, there is no room for error. The industrial process must be 100% safe for it to be acceptable, and the industry has already documented that 6% of their wells have containment failures on installation. The gas drilling industry has proven that fracking is unsafe in Dimock, they proved that in Northern Texas, they proved that in Ohio. Don’t let them prove it all over again in New York.